Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Writing Process {ideas & a freebie!)

Hello Friends!

Do you love teaching writing as much as I do? Let's talk the writing process!

Our primary students have so many stories to tell. Have your students ever walked in your door in the morning eager to tell you a story? Mine do, EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. Writer's Workshop is such a great way to let them do just so.

I love hearing their stories and letting them have the chance to speak through their writing.  I love that my first graders are so eager to learn that they practically try to emulate an author mentor or my writing style. I love that we can ignite their desire to write more by calling them "authors" and giving them "special tools" to publish their revised drafts of stories they have written.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE everything about Writer's Workshop!

Today I want to share with you specifically how I publish stories with my first graders, it is so powerful that it is something I have done for more years than I remember. :)

I launch Writer's Workshop at the beginning of the year with narrative writing. Even at the beginning of the year I start to introduce the writing process to my first graders. I hang this anchor chart up as a so we can reference the process during mini lessons.

You can find this chart for FREE in my shop {HERE}

Through modeling and direct instruction my students develop an understanding of how writers prewrite, draft, revise, and edit (self, peer, teacher) their work. However, during the first two months of school we do not usually publish our stories. It is more important in my opinion for my students to be completely independent and capable writers before I can add book publishing to our learning. Plus I always like to save some things for later in the year to motivate and reignite their love of writing.

By the second quarter, we start writing to inform with procedural writing (how to) writing. This unit is by far my students and my favorite text type. My students are eager to teach others through their writing things they have "expert" knowledge of.

By the end of the unit my students revise and edit their How To writing templates and choose their favorite piece to publish.

You can see more of this writing template {HERE}

 Now we are ready to publish! I created a WORD doc template that my students can use to type their stories. For the first published book, I have them create only the cover, title page, and materials need page in the document. They learn how to create text in a text box, change the font if desired and import a picture for their cover. We can print two copies and use one as a title page.

Once printed, I ask a parent volunteer to assemble pages in their book so they can write and illustrate their masterpiece. They are so eager to finish writing their edited text and add illustrations with special publishing tools (markers, twistables, glitter crayons etc.).

I make a big deal about them being authors, give them time to share their books and send them home with a letter to their parents. IT IS A BIG DEAL!!!

Parent letter

Later in the year when my students have more stamina, I encourage them to type their entire text with the published book template. It does take a while for them to publish these books as most of my students are still "hunting and pecking" to type their words. :) But it is sooooo worth it!

How cute is this....she googled how to help the bird ;) 

If you have never published books with your students, I want to encourage you to do so. Suddenly writing is exciting again, there is a purpose, students are reading and talking to each other about their stories, they are beaming with pride.... (and you will be the best teacher ever!!!)

If you are interested in taking a closer look at the publishing templates you can click the pictures below.

I am so glad you stopped by, I would love to hear any ideas in the comments you have on published writing or author celebrations!


  1. This looks great!
    Thank you for sharing!

    I have a quick question...
    What 'digital paper' (or whatever you used) as the background for your editing process posters? I love it.

  2. The writing process posters are so cute. Thank you for sharing them.